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 Nick Cooper
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Rad Rich’s All-Star Weekend Report Back

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The pomp and extravagance of the National Basketball Associations’ All-Star Weekend ended Sunday night. The Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 143 to 138. Chris Paul Of the LA Clippers was named the Most Valuable Player with 20 points and 15 assists. By Monday, the superstars that were in town, the limos driving them, the private parties that millions were spent on, will be gone. NBA Cares left a lasting impact of millions donated to the local community organizations.

While the players are known for making millions, and for getting in trouble off the court, some also give back to their communities. Former Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon gave out millions during his career most notably to the building of a mosque in downtown Houston.

7’2″ Dikembe Mutombo, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), dominated the NBA as a shot blocker from 1991 to 2009. He retired as a Houston Rocket. He never forgot his roots and gave back to the Congo, building The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named for his late mother, who died of a stroke in 1997. He spent millions of his own money to get the hospital built near his home town, the capital Kinshasa. The hospital is one of the most modern in the region.

He has toured Africa spreading basketball, and as the global ambassador for the Special Olympics. The Dikempbe Mutombo Foundation benefits the hospital, training doctors in the DRC, and promoting Polio vaccinations. Breaking taboos about vaccinations is needed throughout Africa.

At the All-Star Weekend, Mutombo was given The Humanitarian of the Year Award. In accepting the award, he said, “I am happy to have played this game for so long and how lucky I have been that God gave me the chance to play this game. I am hoping that we will get more young players from Africa to play in the NBA and make a good living. There are good players in Africa, and we just need to find the next superstar.”

It is amazing to see that he is as popular now as when he played.